Benert (Benny) ROBINSON Jr.

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Benert (Benny) Wilder Robinson, Jr., age 68, of Healdsburg, CA died Wednesday February 6, 2013 at Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa, CA from respiratory failure due to ALS. Benny was born on May 6, 1944 in Macon, Georgia to Jessie Mae Patterson Robinson and Benert Wilder Robinson, Sr. Benny was baptized as an infant at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church. He grew up in the historic Pleasant Hill community of Macon where he attended St. Peter Claver Elementary School. His mother and aunt were schoolteachers who instilled in him the value of education. At the age of 13, he was accepted into the St. Emma Military Academy on the James River in Powhatan, VA. After graduation in 1962, he matriculated to Tennessee State University, majoring in Engineering. Upon graduation he received a commission in the USAF. In 1973 he married Jane Collins and had one son; later they divorced. He served in Thailand during the Vietnam War as an aircraft maintenance officer and subsequently was stationed as a Captain at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana and at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. He flew the large C151 transport planes worldwide. In 1984 he was honorably discharged from military service. His civilian career included eight years at Caterpillar, Inc., followed by employment as a Test Technician at Hewlett Packard, Next Level Communications and Motorola Wireline Networks in Rohnert Park, California, where he retired in 2006. Benny was outgoing and delighted in telling stories about his travels in the Air Force. He loved photography, fine woodworking, his pet Dachshunds, Apple computers, and gardening and referred to the tomatoes he cultivated as "Benny's Big Boys." He is survived by his son Philip Robinson and granddaughter Stella Rose Robinson of Petaluma, CA, his sister and brother-in-law Marilyn and Johnny Archer of Pensacola, FL, his nephew Thomas Archer of Atlanta, GA and his partner of 14 years Laverne Conway of Healdsburg, CA. His many friends, co-workers, neighbors and family will remember his wit and resourcefulness. A mass will be said in his honor on Saturday, March 16 at 5:00 p.m. at St. John's Catholic Church in Healdsburg. Donations may be made to the Forbes-Norris ALS Clinic at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco in Benny's name.
Published Online in the Press Democrat from Mar. 3 to Mar. 4, 2013
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